2010 March 15
by admin

It’s been a rainy day in Philadelphia, and my strained Soleus muscle prevented me from running. So, I walked an 8 mile loop in the rain and thought about ethics. I remembered a cute aphorism from Philosophy class in college:

“Imagine I approach a stranger on the street and say to him. “If you please sir, I desire to perform an experiment with your aid.” The stranger is obliging, and I lead him away. In a dark place conveniently by, I strike his head with the broad of an axe and cart him home. I place him, buttered and trussed, in an ample electric oven. The thermostat reads 450 F. Thereupon I go off forget all about the obliging stranger in the stove. When I return, I realize that I have overbaked my specimen, and the experiment, alas, is ruined.
Something has been done wrong. Or something wrong has been done.
Any ethic that does not roundly condemn my action is vicious. It is interesting that none is vicious for this reason. It is also interesting that no more convincing refutation of any ethic could be given than by showing that it approved of my baking the obliging stranger.”
-William Gass

One Response leave one →
  1. 2010 March 15
    evan permalink

    If you’ve got any more time in philly take your strained muscle and go look at all the Duchamp at the museum of art. Come visit DC too!

    “The worst readers of aphorisms are the author’s friends…” and now I’m wondering if you’ve gone cannibal?

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